Katra (J&K), October 17, 2020 - Nine-day Navratra Festival began today at the Holy town of Katra, the base camp of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Yatra, amid religious fervor and gaiety. Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board has fully decorated and illuminated the Holy Shrine and the Katra town.
However this year Navratra festival remained a low key affair this time due to COVID Pandemic and the usual rush of devotees was missing. On the first day of Navratra today 4500 pilgrims paid obeisance at the Holy Shrine of Shri Mata Vaishno Devi including 700 pilgrims also who visited Holy Cave via Helicopter.
The Festival is organized by the Directorate of Tourism, Jammu in collaboration with Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board and Hotel, Restaurant & Travel Associations of Katra.
The Navratra Festival was started in the year 1996 to promote pilgrimage tourism in Jammu & Kashmir UT and has now become an Annual Event which is held during the auspicious nine days of the Sharad Navratras. The people celebrate Feminine Divinity referred to as Shakti during the auspicious 9-days.
It has been decided by the Navratra Festival Committee to celebrate the Festival this year in a simple yet spiritually fulfilling manner by following all COVID-19 protocols.
The Festival commenced with Shobha Yatra from Asia Chowk, Katra which culminated at Fountain Chowk, Katra where inaugural Rath decorated with grandeur of Mata Ki Pindies, Kanjaks and audio players was established. A well decorated Pandal was also erected at Fountain Chowk where Hawan/Pujan is being performed on the auspicious nine days. The Gate-way to the Holy Shrine of Mata Vaishno Devi ji has been illuminated to give a festive look to the town.